Moar Playgroundz

It brings me some relief to see Facebook friends who shared similar sentiments on my last post about the overuse of that pesky phrase YOLO.  A good example of when something has gone too far is when Mike and Gian release a satirical Dom Mazzetti video about it.  Sure enough, Dom Mazzetti vs. YOLO is hilarious.  (And NSFW, so it’s not embedded.)  However, Dom does provide a pertinent lesson for physical activity in the video, which is the topic of this post:

So it’s time to hit the gym: Gym Time.  Turns out the gym was closed, so I broke into the local playground which had no fence, and did some bartending.  Hannibal for King, you know? So I got my pump on, swole now, don’t even go home…

Whenever body weight based training is thrown aside as being inferior in regards to machine based training, or free weight training, or, its overall efficacy is questioned, I turn to videos of playground body weight training, from people like Hannibal for King or the BarStarzz calisthetics group.  If you haven’t seen any of their work before, here’s an example:

If you’ve ever been told that body weight exercise doesn’t work, that video is good proof that it does.  The BarStarzz train with no other equipment than the playgrounds that they’re on and their body weight, and I doubt that many people would complain about their levels of relative strength and endurance, at least in the upper body.  Seriously, those guys are strong

Training outside or on a playground is something that I have occasionally done, but it’s typically used when training in the gym is unavailable.  My gym was closed on Sunday morning, and rather than rest, I wanted to sneak in a training session to earn my chocolate Easter bunny.  I gathered two guys from my gym, and we headed to our local playground.  Once we were warmed up, Seth said, “Okay, so what are we doing?”  (Yes, it was THAT Seth.)

Over the course of the next hour or so, we did plenty of push-ups, chin-up variations, dips, inverted rows with the TRX, single arm presses with a 20kg kettlebell, and made some pretty waves with the battling ropes.  By the time we were done training, Zach, Seth, and myself were all pretty beat.

It was great to not only train with good guys, but also to be outside on a beautiful day in the sun.  I’m a huge believer in training environment, and if the simple beauty of fresh air and sunshine can’t motivate you to train hard, I’m not sure what will.  I’m planning on incorporating a few ‘recovery’ workouts during the week this summer, and I’ll try to do them outside.  Additionally, I’m going to rework my upper body workouts so that I can swap an indoor/gym workout with an outdoor/playground workout, so I can further enjoy the good weather and work on not being the palest person with Sicilian blood ever.

There’s a big difference between some of the work that the BarStarzz crew does and what I would use or recommend you do on the playground.  They practice specific stunts and skills that while are quite impressive, may not be the most effective for you to work on your physique, performance, or function goals.  As an example of what I like, I’ve included some videos below of my favorite playground specific exercises for you, which you really can’t do in a regular gym.  Otherwise, you’d be watching more traditional exercises, just outside.  The last two videos are two new ones I took on Sunday morning, which I think you might enjoy.  Enjoy the videos, and if you have any questions or comments, let me know below!

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